Medicinal Plants from Oman Inhibit Growth of Ovarian and Breast Cancer Cells


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Sadri Said1,Md Sohail Akhtar1,Afaf Weli1,Qasim Alriyami1,Sulaiman Alkhanjari1,Tamimi Yahya2
1University of Nizwa,2Sultan Qaboos University



New effective measures are required to control the increasing World cancer burden Among these measures is chemotherapy that demands discovery of new agents from synthesis or natural products. The Gulf region has a number of unexplored endemic medicinal plants which could provide new potent chemotherapeutics including anticancer. This paper reports in vitro anticancer activity of organinic extracts from Aloe dhufarensis, Calotropis procera, Juniperus servaschanica, Lawsonia inermis, Maytenus dhofarensis, Moringa peregrina, Polygala senensis, Punica granatum, Rhazya stricta, Solanum incanum, Teucrium mascatense and Zataria multiflora collected from Oman.


Cytotoxicity was measured by Alamar blue assay against ovarian cancer cell line (MCAS) and breast cancer cell line (MDA MB231). Each extract was initially tested at 11 concentrations including 50, and 100 – 1000 ug/ml to determine their IC50 values. Extracts having IC50 values below 100 ug/ml were further assayed on a normal cell line (skin fibroblast), to observe their toxicity on normal cells.


Thirteen extracts from five plants C. procera, J. servaschanica, M. dhofarensis, S. incanum and T. mascatense were found active against MCAS; hexane extract from J. servaschanica was the most active followed by chloroform extract from leaves of S. incanum (IC50 = 8.50 and 10.90 µg/ml, respectively). Furthermore, nine extracts from these plants except C. procera inhibited the growth of MDA MB321; hexane extract from J. servaschanica was again the most active followed by butanol extract of S. incanum (IC50 = 11.4 and 19.44 µg/ml, respectively). However, extracts from S. incanum showed significant toxicity against the fibroblast. A diterpenoid isolated from hexane of J. servaschanica extract showed cytotoxic activity against both MCAS and MDA MB231 (IC50 = 24.16 and 16.18 µg/ml, respectively).


Ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacological information on flora growing in this intemperate, hot climate region could provide new chemical entities for development of new and more potent cancer chemotherapeutics.